Boreal Shadow, $99
- Steep rock: 3.5 Star
- Face climbing: 3 Star
- Long routes: 2 Star
- Upper: Leather, unlined
- Rubber: 0.5-4.5mm Fusion 3
We loved the Shadow because the Shadow loved our feet. I found I could wear it for hours at a time without discomfort, and along with Five Ten's Anasazi Slipper it soon became my top choice for pump sessions at the crag and the gym. The Shadow features Boreal's unique Integral Rand System (IRS), whereby the sole and rand are made from a single piece of injection-molded rubber. This prevents delamination, reduces stretch, and generally seems to toughen up the shoe. This is the most durable slipper I've seen, said one tester. The Shadow's sole is exceptionally firm for a slipper, giving good edging performance on vertical rock. The dual-thickness sole is supposed to increase sensitivity, but I found its performance on steeper terrain disappointingly wooden. Despite being a fine all-arounder, the Shadow didn't excel in any one area. Comments like Great for training and Good for climbers breaking into slippers abounded. No one raved that it was the shoe they'd wear to send their V-blah-blah-blah testpiece.
- Comfortable, durable all-around slipper.
- Too heavily built for outstanding performance on steep terrain.